Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Slow Birth

As you can imagine, being almost 35 weeks pregnant, birth is on my mind. There's no fear involved, even in light of our adventure the other night. I've done this twice already and while I know this birth could be very different than the other two, I trust my body, the way it has been made, the way it knows what to do, the way it does it. I also trust my husband to be by my side and our midwife who helps us discern at each step of the way what is the safest and best course to take.

I have been reading Vancouver Doula, Jacquie Munro's blog. She writes about her experience as a doula and an advocate of Slow Birth. Sounds a little like Slow Food, if you are familiar with that movement. If we have a slow attitude toward food, why not a slow attitude toward another natural process?

The other day, Jacquie posted about an article written by
Dr. Lauren A. Plante, a US obstetrician, entitled, "Mommy, what did you do in the industrial revolution? Meditations on the rising cesarean rate."

Important: Now, neither I, nor Plante, are against cesarean sections. I am so thankful, so very thankful, that that option exists for mothers and their babies (and me and my baby!). Please understand what I'm saying. What Plante points out in her article is another animal all together- the opting for a C-section when it's not medically necessary. Ok, I'm just going to be quiet now and let you read an excerpt. Below it is a link to the entire article- a very good read.

"As a reaction to industrial agriculture and food marketing, the Slow Food and locavore movements have recently been born. If de-escalation of our food production practices is healthier or more humane, why is intensification of our child production practices better than sustainable childbirth? I’m waiting for the birth of the revolution, or at least, the revolution of birth. Will women who are interested in Slow Food or cage-free eggs find their way to a Slow Childbirth movement? Imagine: educated upper-middle-class women who buy songbird-certified organic coffee and worry about their carbon footprint, just saying no to the quick-fix cesarean culture. If they’re not part of the problem, maybe they can be part of the solution. But the impetus must come from women themselves. Do we really believe that industrial obstetrics is the best model for ourselves and our children? We must clearly understand that real autonomy does not mean cesarean on request, but instead a spectrum of birth options that honor women’s authentic choices. Real autonomy also means, to borrow a sentiment from Gandhi, that women should bring forth the change they wish to see in the world."

Read the entire article here. Pin It


  1. I labored for 39 hours at home with a baby in a posterior position... I so wanted to have him birthed at home... and I am so grateful for the CSec that allowed us both to get some relief...

    And to this day - I feel like a miserable failure.. that I couldn't do it "naturally."

    AND I am so grateful to the doctor who trusted my midwife when she said "I have a transport coming in - can you meet us?"

    It isn't an easy decision for anyone...

  2. Anonymous, I am sorry about your disappointment. You didn't elect to have that c-section or hospital birth out of convenience. You did it because you decided it was safest for you and your baby. That takes guts- to go against something you had hoped for.

  3. I remember a woman telling me that my completely non-medicated (and difficult) vaginal birth wasn't truly "natural" because it wasn't a home birth. That one took the cake: really? Perhaps she might recall that infant and mother mortality is also very "natural."

    So... I decided it wasn't my place to judge other women's birth processes, whether chosen or not. I know an woman who had a "convenience" c-section, and guess what? She's a MUCH kinder, more intuitive parent than the woman who lectured me. Go figure.

  4. Wow great article! You go girl!
    Thank you for blogging about slow food and slow birth. I think it is so important for people to see these perspectives, and I find your blog really beautiful and inspiring!
    --Rachel, Labor and delivery RN and doula


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